The Biggest Change to Computers Since the Transistor

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The Biggest Change to Computers Since the Transistor

Here at upsourceIT we love technology of all kinds, but our favorite technologies are the really disruptive ones – the ones that promise to change their industry by an order of magnitude, or even more. Many institutions are trying to build the next generation of computer technology, knowing that the payoff for leading this wave of innovation would be unprecedented. Some of the technologies I’ve watched include Spintronics, Optical computing, and quantum computing. But my favorite is what is now called the SyNAPSE project.

I’ve been watching this develop pretty closely for over 5 years and believe that it has the best chance of changing the computer industry, in a monumental way. The concept moves away from traditional computers, which do precise computation on all of the data that is sent in, searching for the one correct answer. Instead, it acts like a brain would.

For example, when we are driving a car, we are taking in hundreds of data points at the same time and filtering out the information that doesn’t require a response. When we see something in the road, our brain calculates many simultaneous possible actions for understanding what it is and how to avoid it. When we decide that it is a box and veer to the right in a fraction of a second, it means that of all the answers our brain gave us, “box” and “veering to the right” won.  If the loudest response our brain gave us in that second was “shadow” and “do nothing”, we’d run right over it. Sometimes the “right” answer wins and sometimes it doesn’t. Computers (as amazing and fast as they are today) aren’t very good at that kind of problem solving and soak up lots of power trying to process those types of tasks. Using around 1/10,000 the power – SyNAPSE computers could rock our world.

For a deeper dive into how these computers work, watch the video below or read this post.

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